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Religious Beliefs and Depression: Psychosocial Factors Affecting HIV Treatment Outcomes in South Africa

Sally John, Rachel Kearns, Brent A. Johnson, Claudia E. Ordóñez, Baohua Wu, Anna Hare, Peng Wu, Patrick Sullivan, Henry Sunpath, Vincent C. Marconi


Analysing factors associated with virological failure (VF) may improve antiretroviral therapy (ART) outcomes for individuals living with HIV. The Risk Factors for Virological Failure (RFVF) study compared 158 cases with VF (viral load, VL >1,000 copies/mL) and 300 controls with virological suppression (VL ≤1,000 copies/mL) after >5 months on their first ART regimen at McCord Hospital in Durban, South Africa between October 2010 and June 2012. RFVF participants completed a battery of various psychosocial measures. Using multivariate logistic regression stratified for gender, the association of various psychosocial factors with VF was assessed. It was found that not all factors were equally significant for both genders. The factors that were significantly associated with VF for both genders were younger age, shorter treatment duration and reporting depressive symptoms. The factors associated with VF that differed by gender were religious inactivity, having HIV+ family members, and status disclosure to friends.


antiretroviral treatment; gender; HIV/AIDS; psychosocial factors; South Africa; virological failure

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